As a homeschooling mom to three little learners, I am constantly searching for educational and fun learning opportunities. I am a huge fan of stealth learning. Rather than adhering to lesson plans day in and day out, I love to strew educational books, games, and other resources.
I love to watch learning unfold naturally. We dive down rabbit holes and have fun in the process.
One of my favorite strategies for stealth learning is to use games, and today I’m sharing the newest addition to our game closet: ThinkFun’s Balance Beans.
Dabble in Elementary Algebra and Physics with ThinkFun’s ‘Balance Beans’
*Disclosure: I received Balance Beans at no cost in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review and, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share resources that I would use with my own family, and those that I believe other families will enjoy. Our family has been a fan of ThinkFun’s for many years!
Balance Beans is stealth learning at its best
To play, select a challenge card and arrange the red beans on the seesaw according to the instructions on the challenge card. Here is an example:
The red beans cannot be moved. The object of the game is to add the additional beans indicated on the challenge card in such a way that they balance the seesaw. Solutions to each challenge are on the reverse side of each card, as you can see here:
There are 40 challenge cards included, with four levels of play: easy, medium, hard, and super hard.
Balance Beans is easy to play but challenging to master. Young players start off using trial-and-error but even the youngest players get the hang of it quickly. Soon, players learn to use reasoning and problem-solving skills. As they play, they are learning to balance equations and the rules of physics!
Why this homeschooling mom loves Balance Beans
ThinkFun has yet to let this homeschooling mama down! Balance Beans is no exception. Here are just a few things I love about this new addition to our game closet:
- Balance Beans can be played right out of the box. Rules are simple. Even the youngest game lovers can start playing right away.
- I love one-player logic games. As a homeschooling mom with three young children, I need a little quiet time. One way I achieve this quiet time without feeling guilty is through high-quality educational games like this one.
- Balance Beans is fun!
- Balance Beans looks like a seesaw to the unsuspecting child but, in reality, children are learning a little algebra and physics! This is stealth learning at its best!
- I love that some challenges have more than one answer. I think it is important for children to learn that there is often more than one way to solve a problem.
- Balance Beans comes with an easy-to-carry pouch making it the perfect travel game. We packed it on our most recent vacation!
What do the kids think?
My kids LOVE Balance Beans! They have been playing nonstop since it arrived on our doorstep. In fact, they packed it on our recent vacation because they just couldn’t part with it!
The other day, they made Balance Beans into a multiple-player game by taking turns and timing themselves to add more of a challenge.
Do you want to add Balance Beans to your game closet?
Balance Beans retails at $17.99 and is available at Target, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and specialty toy stores nationwide.
Are you a fan of stealth learning, too?
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I rely heavily on educational games in our homeschool. Read more here:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: What is your family’s favorite one-player game? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram